Butter Beans and Saltfish in a skillet.
Jamaican Food,  Recipes

Butter Beans & Saltfish

A tasty & flavorful dish is the Butter Beans & Saltfish. It can be a breakfast or dinner option for you and your family.

I went to my local Save-a-lot Supermarket a few days ago and find some canned Butter Beans, immediately I thought of making some Jamaican Butter Beans with Salt fish for dinner.

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I immediately saw the big smile on my husband’s face. Without delay, I started to plan one of his favorite meal, Butter Beans and Saltfish with boiled food (dumplings, green bananas, yellow yam and Jamaican coco/Malanga root).

Immediately after I reached home from the Supermarket, I got down to work. Yep. I started making one of my husband’s favorite meal….Butter Beans and Saltfish.

Butter Beans and Saltfish, ready to eat.
Butter Beans & saltfish.

What is Saltfish

In Jamaica, it is called Saltfish, Cod Fish or some say Salted Cod fish. I refer to it as Saltfish.

Saltfish is a white meaty fish that is preserved with salt by drying it out over a period of time. This preservation process makes the Salt fish stay longer.

Saltfish soaked, boiled and deboned into small pieces.
Saltfish soaked, boiled and deboned into small pieces.

Saltfish or otherwise called Salted Cod fish, can be found in your local West Indian or Caribbean Supermarket. If not, you can find it in Walmart or Save-a-lot Supermarkets.

How to cook Saltfish

Now there are two ways I know how to prepare the Saltfish or some call it Cod Fish. Either way is okay with me. I have no personal preference.

The first way is to allow the Saltfish to soak overnight in a bowl with water covering it. This process takes away majority of the saltiness in it. When you choose to prepare it the next day, you can choose to boil it after soaking it or not to boil it at all. It will be soft and ready to remove the bone from it.

The other way is to just boil it on the day you plan to prepare it. However, you will have to change the water about 3 times, just to make sure it’s not too salt.

Once it boil for about 20 minutes, discard that water and pour fresh water and boil again for another 20 minutes. You can repeat another time after the second time, but this depends on the amount of water you used to boil it in.

As I have said earlier, either way is good for me. I have tried it both ways and they work just the same.

Butter Beans

Butter Beans or Large Lima Beans.
Butter Beans or Large Lima Beans.

As a Jamaican, we used Butter Beans for mostly two recipes: Oxtail with Butter Bean; and Saltfish with Butter Beans. It was very hard for me to find Butter Beans when I migrated here. I was walking around in Supermarkets looking for cans or dry ones that says Butter Beans.

Little did I know that in America, it is called Lima Beans. Yes, I did laugh a little at myself, because I kept seeing Lima Beans and just didn’t know that it was the same as Butter Beans.

Finally, I can enjoy some Jamaican dishes with Butter Beans aka Large Lima Beans now.

Different Types of Saltfish Recipe

There are a lot of different Saltfish Recipe that can be found in the Caribbean. It maybe different in regards to what it is called or what is it eaten with, but the main thing that is used is Saltfish and is loved by many of the Caribbean countries.

The most popular and favorite Saltfish Recipe in Jamaica is Ackee and Saltfish, which is our national dish. Ackee and Saltfish is the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it is usually eaten with Fried Dumpling. Another favorite meal in Jamaica is the Callaloo and Saltfish. Plus, some tasty and flavorful Saltfish Fritters.

In Trinidad and Tobago, a popular Saltfish Recipe is Buljol. It is a type of salad that is usually used as a side dish in their country. It is pretty much cooked Saltfish with some sauteed onion, bell pepper, scallion and garlic.

A popular Caribbean food is Bake and Saltfish. Bake is a mixture of flour, baking powder and salt. It is a small fried bread, that is sliced at the side and stuffed with some saltfish. As a Jamaican, I call Bake, Fried Dumpling or Johnny Cake.

How to make Jamaican Butter Beans & Saltfish

The best thing to do is to soak the Saltfish in water overnight. This process removes the salt and re-hydrate the Saltfish for cooking.

Sometimes there is no need to boil the Saltfish after soaking it in water.

However, you can choose to boil the Saltfish to remove the excess salt from it. Discard the water after each boil and taste it to know if you have reached the desired amount of salt you need.

At this point, once the Saltfish is cool, debone it and break it up into small pieces. Add the Saltfish to the sauteed vegetables and herbs.

Finally, add the Butter Beans and allow it to simmer for awhile and that’s it. It’s all done.

Chopped vegetables.
Chopped vegetables.
Adding Saltfish to the sauteed vegetables and the additional seasoning.
Adding Saltfish to the sauteed vegetables and the additional seasoning.
Before and after the Butter Beans are added to the mixture.
Butter Beans added to the mixture.
Butter Beans mixed with Saltfish.
Butter Beans & Saltfish
Left Photo: Adding ketchup to the Butter Beans and Saltfish.
Right Photo: how it look after adding the ketchup (which is optional).
Left Photo: Adding ketchup to the Butter Beans & Saltfish.
Right Photo: how it look after adding the ketchup (which is optional).

Butter Beans & Saltfish Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of Butter Bean (Large Lima Beans)
  • 1/2 lb Saltfish
  • 2 stalks of Scallion (green onion)
  • 2 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/3 of a large Bell Pepper
  • 1/ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup (optional)

Instructions on how to prepare the Saltfish

  1. Prepare the Saltfish by soaking it in about 4 cups of water overnight or just about 2 hours. Then throw away the water it was soaking in overnight. Pour 4 cups of water in a sauce pan with the Saltfish. Boil for about 30 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Taste to see if the Saltfish is still too salty or just the right amount of salt. If it is too salty, then add some more water and boil for some additional minutes.

Instructions for the Butter Beans & Saltfish

  1. Once the Saltfish has the desired amount of salt you want on it, throw away the water and allow to cool. Break up the Saltfish into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat the Vegetable oil in a large skillet pot on medium heat. Add the chopped Garlic.
  3. Add the Bell Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes, Scallions, and Thyme to the vegetable oil and to saute for about 2 minutes. Afterwards, add the Saltfish and mix together.
  4. Add the Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Basil and continue to mix.
  5. Pour the Butter Beans in the Saltfish mixture.
  6. At this point, add the ketchup to the mixture if you choose to.
  7. Cover the Skillet and allow it to simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Serve with your choice of side dish and enjoy.
Dinner is served: Butter Beans and Saltfish and boiled food.
Dinner is ready.

Please let me know what you think about this Butter Bean and Saltfish, in the comment section below.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back again.

Blessings and Love, as you carry on, on your YouNique Journey!

Butter Beans and Saltfish in a skillet.

Butter Beans and Saltfish

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A tasty & flavorful dish is the Butter Beans and Saltfish. It can be a breakfast or dinner option for you and your family.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of Butter Bean (Large Lima Beans)
  • 1/2 lb Saltfish
  • 2 stalks of Scallion (green onion)
  • 2 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/3 of a large Bell Pepper
  • 1/ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup (optional)

Instructions

Directions to prepare the Saltfish

  1. Prepare the Saltfish by soaking it in about 4 cups of water overnight or just about 2 hours. Then throw away the water it was soaking in overnight. Pour 4 cups of water in a sauce pan with the Saltfish. Boil for about 30 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Taste to see if the Saltfish is still too salty or just the right amount of salt. If it is too salty, then add some more water and boil for some additional minutes.

Directions for the Butter Beans & Saltfish

  1. Once the Saltfish has the desired amount of salt you want on it, throw away the water and allow to cool. Break up the Saltfish into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat the Vegetable oil in a large skillet pot on medium heat. Add the chopped Garlic.
  3. Add the Bell Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes, Scallions, and Thyme to the vegetable oil and to saute for about 2 minutes. Afterwards, add the Saltfish and mix together.
  4. Add the Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Basil and continue to mix.
  5. Pour the Butter Beans in the Saltfish mixture.
  6. At this point, add the ketchup to the mixture if you choose to.
  7. Cover the Skillet and allow it to simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Serve with your choice of side dish and enjoy.

Notes

  1. You can soak the Saltfish overnight, which is much better and shortens the cooking process. However, if not then it can take up to an hour to cook the Saltfish and remove the excessive salt from the Saltfish.
  2. Please remove all the bones from the Saltfish once it is finish cooking.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 2714mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 29g

The nutritional information that is provided, is computer generated and therefore it is an estimate. Please do your own research with the ingredients that are listed here, if you have any concern about any specific diet or your health.

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